April 16, 2008 - by

Seminole Track and Field Gears Up For ACC Championships

April 16, 2008

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Seminole Track and Field Gears Up For ACC Championships
Even with all the top finishes at both the Outdoor and Indoor NCAA Championships, don’t think for a minute that winning an Atlantic Coast Conference title doesn’t mean anything to the Florida State track and field teams. Both squads start their hunt for some conference hardware on Thursday (April 17) at Georgia Tech’s George C. Griffin Track & Field Facility. The meet runs through Saturday (April 19).


From the Press Box
Head Coach Bob Braman
On the men’s meet:
“This is the ultimate team championships for us and the only one more important is the national championship. The difference between ACCs and nationals is that we’re going to have 25-30 guys score points for us this weekend versus the six or eight we have a nationals and this will really show our depth across the board. This is a chance for a lot of regional and ACC caliber athletes to shine.”


On going for the men’s fourth-straight outdoor title and eighth in a row:
“That’s really a sense of pride for a lot of our guys and they want to keep that streak alive. I think we have a really good chance of winning, but we’ve got to come in and take care of business. The ACC is a great conference and we can’t think that just because we’re two-time defending national champions that everyone is just going to roll over and let us take the trophy without a fight. We have to perform or someone like Clemson will take it like they did in 2004.”


On the women’s meet:
“We’ve been top four every year that I’ve been here and we’re hoping to continue that streak. After a great second-place showing by the ladies at the Indoor Championships we thought we might be able to make a run at outdoors, but we’ve got a bunch of key people who are out or not at 100 percent so it’s going to be tough for us to make a run, but I know the ladies who are in Atlanta will give it everything they’ve got.


“One thing we’ve to be careful about is not putting too much of the weight on our superstars like Kim Williams and ask them to do too much and then not be ready for regionals or the NCAA Championships. We’ve got some good young talent that can step up score some points for us and notch some regional marks. We may not get it this year, but if we’re healthy I really think we’ll have a great shot at winning next year.”


On his experience with conference championships:
“I can relate more to the guys or girls who are looking to score at the conference meet and maybe get into regionals more than I can elite athletes like Charles Clark or Susan Kuijken. When I was in college my goal was first to always make the conference team and then try to score points at the meet so I have a soft spot for those guys and girls where this is their only opportunity to shine all year.”


Men Going For Fourth-Straight Outdoor Title, Eighth In A Row
Over the last six seasons, the landscape of ACC men’s track and field has been dominated by Florida State. The Seminoles have won the last three titles -by an average of 54 points – and are going for their fourth in a row this weekend at Atlanta. When you add in the Seminoles four-straight ACC Indoor Titles, a win this weekend would give FSU eight-straight and 11 out of the last 12.


Women Seeking First Championships since 2000
Ever since FSU joined the ACC in 1992, the women’s program has always been in the hunt for the ACC crown, but has only been able to break through once as they took the 2000 championships. Last season the Seminoles were third after a second-place finish in 2006. Florida State has never finished lower than fourth at the Outdoor Championships with six runner-up finishes.


Seminoles Bring Some of the Top Times In The Country
Into ACCs Florida State brings some of the nation’s top competitors into the conference championships. Freshman Gonzalo Barroilhet (Santiago, Chile) has the nation’s top decathlon score with his school-record 7,828 he put down at the Texas Relays. The rookie also has the fifth-best pole vault as he has cleared 5.35m/17-06.50. Ranking second in the country is Charles Clark (Virginia Beach, Va.) as he ran a 45.30 last weekend in the 400m.


The 4x100m relay team of Clark, Michael Ray Garvin, Drew Brunson (Snellville, Ga.) and Brandon Byram (Gallatin, Tenn.) are seeded third in the US at 39.16. Garvin is rated fourth in the 200m with a time of 20.68 while Brunson holds the same spot with his 13.61 in the 110m hurdles.


On the women’s side, three individuals have cracked the top 10 nationally. Freshman phenom Kim Williams (Kingston, Jamaica) is third in the country with her leap of 13.65m (44-09.50). Sophomore Pilar McShine (Port-of-Prince, Trinidad & Tobago) rates ninth in the 800 while junior Lydia Willemse (Forest, Ontario) is holding down the number nine spot in the 3000m steeplechase at 10:24.21.


Men Take Fourth Indoor Crown, Women Finish Second In Chapel Hill
Backed by 10 titles between the two squads, Florida State had its best combined showing at the 2008 Indoor ACC Championships. The men won six championships on their way to the team title with a winning score of 138 points. The women’s squad equaled their best showing at the Indoor meet as they won three individual titles and the distance medley relay to take second. Prior to this season, the women hadn’t finished any higher than third since the 2000 campaign. The 88.5 points are the Seminoles’ third-highest point total ever. Rookie Kim Williams was named the Women’s Freshman of the Year.


Seminoles Looking To Add More Regional Marks This Weekend
With the 2008 NCAA East Regional Track and Field Championships in its backyard, the Seminoles are trying to add as many regional marks as they can. Last weekend the men tacked on 11 to up their total to 19. The women have a strong contingency building as they have put 10 competitors in the regional meet, May 30-31 in Tallahassee.


Women Have Had Success In Atlanta
Since Florida State joined the ACC, the outdoor conference championships have only been held in Atlanta once. That year, the women’s team finished second with 134.5 points – their fourth-highest point total ever. Sophia Danvers (400), Erica Shepard (800m), and Shannon Cook (shot) all took home individual titles and the team won the 4x400m relay. On the other side, the men had their lowest point total ever as they scored just 82.5 points to take fourth. Justin Johnston’s win in the javelin was the only one for the men.


Seminoles Looking For New Faces To Win Championships
It may seem hard to believe, but between both teams, Florida State only has one returning individual ACC champion. Senior Elliot Wood (Sydney, Australia) won the 2005 400m hurdle title in 50.92, but none of FSU’s individual champions are back from last season. However, the Seminoles do have several runners who have been a part of record-setting relays. Kandia Batchelor (Tampa, Fla.), Keyla Smith (Daytona Beach, Fla.) and Dana Massiah (Arima, Trinidad & Tobago) were apart of the 4x400m relay that set a new conference meet record of 3:32.11. On the men’s side, sprinters Michael Ray Garvin (Upper Saddle River, N.J.) and Charles Clark (Virginia Beach, Va.) ran on the 4x100m relay that ran a time of 38.78.


FSU Holding Down Top Times In ACC
Going into this weekend, the men’s team owns seven of the top times/marks in the conference out of 23 events. The Seminoles are the only school to have the top two spots in two different events – Kim Williams is the only ACC athletes, male or female, to be ranked number one in two events as she has the best long (6.22m/20-05.0) and triple jump (13.65m/44-09.5) marks.


FSU’s Top ACC Performers
Men
200 Meters
1) Michael Ray Garvin, FS ……………. 20.68
2) Brandon Byram, FS …………………. 20.89
400 Meters
1) Charles Clark, FS ………………………………… 45.30
2) Pablo Navarrete, FS …………………………….. 46.50
1,500 Meters
1) Luke Gunn, FS……………………………….. 03:45.31
110 Meter Hurdles
1) Drew Brunson, FS …………………….. 13.61
Decathlon
1) Gonzalo Barroilhet, FS …………………………. 7828
4×100 Meter Relay
1) Florida State ……………………………………… 39.16
4×400 Meter Relay
1) Florida State …………………………………. 03:07.54


Women
400 Meters
1) Kim Williams, FS …………………………20-05.00 / 6.22m
Triple Jump
1) Kim Williams, FS ………………….. 44-09.50 / 13.65m
4×400 Meter Relay
1) Florida State …………………………………. 03:36.02 


ACC Meet Marks The Debut of Indoor National Champions Hannah England
After a record-setting performance by sophomore Hannah England (Oxford, England) to win the mile run at the NCAA Indoor Championships, she was due for some time off. She’ll make her first outdoor appearance of the season this weekend in Atlanta as she competes in the 800m run.


Florida State Dominating ACC Performer of the Week
With the exception of the first week of the outdoor season, at least one Florida State athlete has named ACC Performer of the Week the last three weeks. The Seminoles have had more recipient than any other school, four, and when you add in Miami, Sunshine State schools have won the men’s and women’s awards each of the last three weeks. Rookie Kim Williams grabbed the honor on April 8 after her triple jump performance at the Texas Relays was the best in the country.

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